music clip of the day


Category: classical

Tuesday, October 14th

Thirty-eight years later.

Bela Bartok (1881-1945), Piano Concerto No. 3 (1945); Toho Gakuen Orchestra (Yuri Bashmet, cond.) with Martha Argerich (piano), live, 2007


And an encore.

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), Sonata in D minor; Martha Argerich (piano), live, 2008

Monday, October 13th

No matter what she’s playing, she seems never to touch the ground.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Piano Concerto in G (1929-31); RAI National Symphony Orchestra (Claudio Abbado, cond.) with Martha Argerich (piano), live, Rome, 1969

1st movt.

2nd & 3rd movts.

Saturday, October 11th

never enough

Is any form of music-making more intimate?

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), String Quartet No. 15, excerpt (1st movt.); Danish String Quartet, live (BBC studio), London, 2013



art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago (lunch hour)

René Magritte (1898-1967), The Lovers (1928) (Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938, closes Monday)


Wednesday, October 8th

This I could listen to all day.

Morton Feldman (1926-1987), Palais de Mari (1986); Blair McMillen (piano) & Ryan Olivier (video processing), live, Philadelphia, 2014



musical thoughts

My obsession with surface is the subject of my music. In that sense, my compositions are really not ‘compositions’ at all. One might call them time canvases in which I more or less prime the canvas with an overall hue of the music.

—Morton Feldman, “Between Categories” (Give My Regards to Eighth Street)

Monday, October 6th


These pieces, inspired by Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, were dedicated to her.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), 24 Preludes and Fugues (1950-51); Tatiana Nikolayeva (1924-1993), live (BBC studio), 1992

Nos. 4 and 5


Nos. 10 and 11


No. 24



art beat

Helen Levitt (1913-2009), Mexico City, 1941


Wednesday, October 1st

Three-word review: Don’t miss this.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), String Quartet in F major (1903); Hagen Quartet, live, Austria (Salzburg), 2000

1st movt.

2nd movt.

3rd movt.

4th movt.



reading table

Can I get used to it day after day
a little at a time while the tide keeps
coming in faster the waves get bigger
building on each other breaking records
this is not the world that I remember
then comes the day when I open the box
that I remember packing with such care
and there is the face that I had known well
in little pieces staring up at me
it is not mentioned on the front pages
but somewhere far back near the real estate
among the things that happen every day
to someone who now happens to be me
and what can I do and who can tell me
then there is what the doctor comes to say
endless patience will never be enough
the only hope is to be the daylight

—W. S. Merwin, “Living With the News” (New Yorker, 7/28/14)

Monday, September 29th

Why not begin the week with something beautiful?

Claude Debussy (1862-1918), String Quartet in G minor (1893); New England Conservatory Student Quartet (Minchae Kim & Harry Chang, violins; Heejin Chang, viola; Hsiao-Hsuan Huang, cello), live, Boston, 2014


A big birthday shout-out to my son Alex (now twenty-seven), who’s enriched my life, musically and otherwise, more than he could ever know.

Saturday, September 20th

never enough

I could live happily inside a cello.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Suite No. 3 in C major for Unaccompanied Cello; Nathan Chan (1993-), live, San Francisco, 8/17/14



art beat: more from Monday at the Art Institute of Chicago

Josef Koudelka (1938-), Slovakia, 1966 (from Gypsies)
Nationality Doubtful, through tomorrow


Monday, September 15th

It’s your choice. You can allow yourself to be swept away. Or you can stay put on your own little island.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Piano Concerto No. 2; Munich Philharmonic (Sergiu Celibidache, cond.) with Daniel Barenboim, piano, live, 1991



reading table

The man pulling radishes
pointed my way
with a radish.

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827; translated from Japanese by Robert Haas)

Saturday, September 13th

David T. Little (1978-), Haunt of Last Nightfall; Third Coast Percussion, live



musical thoughts

It’s not hard to imagine a world where the different kinds of music could be counted. Maybe there’d be 49, or 94, or 949. Thank God, or whatever, we don’t live there.


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